Mika Brzezinski Rudy Giuliani's Stormy Daniels insults expose the misogyny women face, especially from Trump's White House

You don't have to be the kind of women that the president or his lawyer deem beautiful or classy to be credible when telling the truth.
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Image: Stormy Daniels
Adult film star Stormy Daniels attends a news conference to tout the success of Restricted to Adults (RTA) website and other efforts by the adult film industry to protect children from inappropriate material held at the National Press Club in Washington on May 29, 2008.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file
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When Rudy Giuliani insulted Stormy Daniels — "When you look at Stormy Daniels ... What good is three wives? Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. Stormy Daniels? Pfft." — he cut to the heart of what is still a problem for so many women. The core of it is that, in this White House, they see women as objects, as visual creatures who are judged as if the world were a pageant and they are chosen by their attractiveness or sexiness. And to Rudy Giuliani and the president — for whom he is speaking — a woman's credibility can be based solely on her looks.

Giuliani found Stormy Daniels to be unattractive and therefore not credible. Really? I’m confused: Why did the president find her attractive enough to reimburse his fixer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 Cohen says he paid her? (But I digress.) Giuliani went on to say that Donald Trump's multiple wives are attractive and therefore credible. It's all about looks and sex; a certain kind of hotness equals credibility.

Beyond its stupidity, this scares me for my daughters and for women across this country who have been fighting so hard to be taken seriously, to be an equal part of society and to be paid equally.

If Rudy Giuliani had a job at a company, he would be fired today for saying what he said.

And then for Giuliani to double down on it and stand by his words when given an opportunity to apologize? Disgusting. If Rudy Giuliani had a job at a company, he would be fired today for saying what he said. We cannot let him or the president get a pass on this.

To have any individual woman devalued so terribly shows how terrible our attitudes toward all women are. We're desensitized to the imbalance and the inequity that exist for women. We're desensitized to the way we treat each other and to the unfairness that exists as it pertains to women and their looks. I would never hear someone talk about a man the way that Giuliani talked about Stormy Daniels.

And that, my friends, is the world in which we live; Rudy Giuliani just provided a cartoon version of what we face every day. It's a landscape that makes it really hard for women to find their voices. It's hard to break through and be credible when this is how many people, consciously or subconsciously, think about women.

What the president's attorney said tells us everything you need to know about the battles women face as they struggle for their voice.

This president is a misogynist. His attorney was trying to push back about a payment that went from the president's representative to a porn star to be silent about the affair she says they had. The president denies the affair, but the payment is indisputable. The picture of Trump and Daniels is indisputable. Whatever Trump paid her for, I’m not sure I really care. But what the president's attorney said tells us everything you need to know about the battles women face as they struggle for their voice.

Please step up and say something. I challenge all women to unite and to not wait another second; with Know Your Value, I urge women to use their voices loudly and clearly and in real time — period — because obviously no one's going to do it for us.

I felt my blood curdling when I heard Giuliani talking this way about Stormy Daniels. There is no one in the White House who will speak up for the dignity and the rights of women in America today. President Trump's daughter said that she wanted to build a platform for women; former Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell was brought in there to help build a platform for women. It has all failed so miserably because the president is a misogynist. There is no place in the White House for equality and respect for women when the leader of the free world is a misogynist. The administration's failures as they pertain to women were just multiplied with Giuliani's comments.

We have slid back into an era in which women are treated as objects, and judged and valued based only on their looks.

We have slid back into an era in which women are treated as objects, and judged and valued based only on their looks.

I’ve heard comments, like those from Giuliani, that people think I am defending Stormy Daniels as a porn star. I do not support the porn industry, but I do support her right to have a voice — especially if she was taken advantage of, lied to or misled into signing an agreement that she did not understand. This case needs to be heard — especially because there is evidence the president may have used the payment to silence her during the heat of the campaign, which would be a campaign finance violation.

She has a right to her voice. And her voice has nothing to do with what Rudy Giuliani thinks of her looks. (Has anyone looked at Rudy Giuliani lately by the way? Just asking, since he put it out there.)

You don't have to be the kind of women that Donald Trump or Rudy Giuliani deem "beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance" to be believed when you tell the truth. And the fact that they are defending differential treatment for women who don't look a certain way or act a certain way may turn out to be one of the most devastatingly damaging things this administration has done to women so far.

As told to THINK editor Megan Carpentier, edited and condensed for clarity.

Mika Brzezinski is the co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and founder of “Know Your Value.”

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